“Signs” of Life at General Conference

Laywomen are front-and-center as American Sign Language translators at General Conference, says Yvette Moore, editor of response magazine, the magazine of United Methodist Women.

The ministry of the laity in The United Methodist Church is moving front and center at the 2012 General Conference — especially when the lights and cameras zoom in on any one of the four women interpreting the proceedings in American Sign Language (ASL).

Mary E. Harris of Conway United Methodist Church in Orlando, Angela Liston of Morrison United Methodist Church in Leesburg, Fla., Michelle Menefee of First United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, and Betty Ostrom of Pine Castle United Methodist Church in Orlando are laywomen composing the team of ASL interpreters for the 2012 General Conference.

Ms. Harris, Ms. Liston and Ms. Menefee caught some sun and talked about their lay calling to a ministry of communication through sign outside the convention center during a lunch break.

“I would say for everyone of us, it’s a calling from God,” said Ms. Harris, coordinator of the signers for this General Conference. “I was deeply involved in United Methodist Women, and they were so into mission, I wanted to be out in mission too. It was because of United Methodist Women that I became a signer.”

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